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Solaris - Marsbéli Krónikák (Martian Chronicles) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 349 ratings

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5 stars I have always had an ambiguous relationship with Neo-Prog, but this is the first LP of the Neo-Prog era 1979-88 (approx) that I consider an outright classic. Hungary's SOLARIS are a special band in the firmamnet of East European Prog and, unlike other NeoProg acts that sound diluted, this is prime symphonic space-prog. All the ingredients are present for a pleasurable prog experience: The full side suite The Martian Chronicles Pts. 1-6 is the centerpiece of the LP - a massive undertaking of symphonic grandeur. This is comparable, and on a par with that other masterpiece of space-prog: Pulsar's Strands of the Future - in fact aesthetically the LP's are very similar as is the bands line-up of instrumentation - Keyboards, Sequencers, durms, bass, flutes, guitars - the full monty as they say. Great versatile playing, lots of Floyd-ian guitar but with an energy surpassing Gilmour's often leaden style. Chorals add to the symphonic might - real chorals by the sound of it - and the production while not possessing the grit off the early seventies clearly avoids the over- digitalised coldness of Pendragon and the like. Some great spacey echoed flute playing on Side Two's "If the Fog Ascends" give the song an unexpected feel of the great lost German space-rock classic "DreamLab" by MYTHOS and "Mars Poetica" kicks along at a breakneck pace. Really - if grand symphonic rock is your bag - with a spacey atmosphere thsi LP is a must. Released on the Hungarian Start label [SLPM 17819] - I am unsure if this is even available on CD - but it should be if it isn't. The quality holds up right to the last note of the LP closer "Solaris" - this is a defining moment of East European Prog and maybe its pinnacle of the NeoProg era. Released in 1985 this towers of the nonsense that Pallas and the like were vomiting forth at the same time - Solaris show a real aesthetic knowledge and taste. PROG PERFECTION from the mid 80s. There are not many LP's from the Neo Prog era worthy of a 5 star rating in my opinion (and yes, I have listened to a lot of Neo Prog) but this one shines through - a diamond in the mid80s rough.
mandrake2 | 5/5 |


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